Well as it turns out, there's absolutely shedloads in a name. Joe Lycett - a brilliant comedian - has highlighted the power of the Hugo Boss brand. It's funny that's he's changed his name to Hugo Boss, but on the other hand this is a serious matter for brand owners.
Could a rash of similar copycat name changes now arise to challenge the trade mark rights of brand owners?
A brand owner will invest time, money, skill and effort to establish and promote their brand identity. Trade marks designate origin, and on that level actually serve to protect the consumer from cheap imitations.
Maybe a moral question about the way goods are produced and how brands add huge mark ups is behind this latest attack on a brand owner's legitimate business interests. If that is the case the appropriate audience are legislators not the brand owners themselves. As a democracy our elected representatives have decided to protect the investments made by brand owners.
If anything, the law needs to be extended/simplified to make it easier and cheaper for start ups and scale ups to protect what they do. So then brand protection won't just be for the mega brands. The vast majority of smaller, newer brands often don't register to protect their trademarks or even give it any thought when they start out on what may become the next big thing.
Just off to change my name to Calvin Klein...only kidding I think I'm more a Giorgio Armani.
The fashion brand, Hugo Boss, said in a statement: 'We welcome the comedian formerly known as Joe Lycett as a member of the HUGO BOSS family. As he will know, as a "well known" trade mark (as opposed to a regular "trade mark") HUGO BOSS enjoys increased protection not only against trade marks for similar goods, but also for dissimilar goods across all product categories for our brands and trademarks BOSS and BOSS Black and their associated visual appearance.'